It's funny really. I'll happily toddle off to Brussels and spend an evening drinking high alcohol beers and come out the other end feeling fine, but the word Doppelbock always makes me leery. They're not all that strong in the greater scheme of things really, so maybe it's the big sweetness that many of them have that put me off. I'd bought a mix of Doppelocks during the summer to try and break this mental block, but I went through them quite slowly, even though there were some classics in the mix.
One of these was the Löwenbräu Triumphator, weighing in at what seems to be regulation standard 7.2% ABV. A rich, ruddy brown with a persistent off-white head, the aroma is certainly sweet, but in a comforting chocolate-orange way. There's a touch of fresh-baked bread to it, with hints of spices.
On first taste, I was actually a little disappointed. The chocolate-orange suggested by the aroma doesn't deliver and there's a bite that surprises. After a few sips though, I realised it's not as sugary as some Doppelbocks, and actually, there's a fairly decent hoppiness, which was unexpected. It all develops into a mix of dark toffee, a touch of chocolate, a slight roasty finish and though all this an alcoholic warmth and a pine-like, floral bitterness. Not so bad after all!